Biography

Helen graduated from Keele with a BA in Criminology and History (1st class) in 1998, before spending two years working in a Magistrates' Court. She returned to Keele in 2000, and graduated with a Masters in Criminology (with distinction) in 2001. After a period as a Community Safety Officer, Helen once again returned to Keele and was awarded her Ph.D in January 2007. She was appointed as a temporary, part-time lecturer in Criminology in January 2007, became a permanent lecturer in June 2007, and a senior lecturer in 2014.  
 
Helen is Director of the Roads Policing Academic Network (@RoadsPolicingRN) – an interdisciplinary network of over 120 academics and research-engaged practitioners interested in researching roads policing in its broadest sense – which she established in 2018. 

Research and scholarship

Helen's research is largely focused on the area of roads policing, and has included funded research on subjects including the controversies surrounding the use of speed cameras to enforce speed limits, ANPR, Community Speed Watch, uninsured driving, police tasking, public engagement, and Police and Crime Commissioners’ engagement with roads policing issues.  She is author of the 2012 book 'The Fast and the Furious: Drivers, speed cameras and control in a risk society' published by Ashgate and based on her PhD research and over 20 published papers in this area. 
 
Helen is Director of the Roads Policing Academic Network (@RoadsPolicingRN) – an interdisciplinary network of over 120 academics and research-engaged practitioners interested in researching roads policing in its broadest sense – which she established in 2018. 
 
Helen is currently working with the Department for Transport and Home Office on the national roads policing review, as well as on the national rollout of Op. Tutelage (targeting uninsured driving). She is also conducting research for UKROEd (providers of NDORS driver education courses). 
 
As part of a team from Keele, Napier University, the University of Dundee and UCL, Helen has been awarded an ESRC Large Grant to conduct research exploring the police use of technology as a means for interacting with the public, and its compatibility with procedural justice. This is known as the INTERACT project. More on this project here: Keele University - Funded projects 
 
Helen has drawn research funding from the ESRC (large grants, CASE studentships), central government (Department for Transport, Home Office, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology), other national organisations (UKROEd, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau), the police (Staffordshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire), the private sector (VW, British Nuclear Fuels), local government (Staffordshire County Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Safer Communities Partnership), and the third sector (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Magistrates' Association. 
 
Helen has successfully supervised doctoral and professional doctorate students studying topics including; roads policing; fixed penalties; the effectiveness educational for drivers caught using their mobile phone while driving; police/public encounters; everyday policing in Victorian England. 
 
Funded Research projects include:  
 
  • ESRC Large Grant (ES/V00283X/1) INTERACT (Investigating New Types of Engagement, Response And Contact Technology) with Dr Liz Aston (Edinburgh Napier University) Dr Megan O’Neill (Dundee), Professor Ben Bradford (LSE) Value: £876,142. Start date: September 2021 (3 year project) 
  •  UKROEd – Review of shift to online delivery of NDORS courses. With Dr Gemma Briggs (OU) and Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw (Staffordshire University). April-Nov 2020. 
  •  UKROEd – Experiences of online and f2f delivery in NDORS courses. With Dr Gemma Briggs (OU). Value: £28,564. Start date: April 2021.  
  •  NRPOII – Academic Subject Matter Expertise to the Galileo Programme. Start date: September 2017 (ongoing) 
  •  ESRC CASE studentship. Roads Policing Reimagined. Student: Craig Arnold. Start date: September 2019. 
  •  Motor Insurers’ Bureau/NRPOII. Academic Subject Matter Expertise to the National Tutelage Roll-Out. Start date: September 2019 (ongoing) 
  •  Road Safety Trust – large grant. ‘Innovators and innovations in preventing mobile phone use while driving: sharing and improving practice’. Value: £75,096. September 2017-April 2019.  
  •  EU Horizon 2020 - MOCHA –Models of Child Health Appraised. Total value: 6 million Euro. 2015-2019  

Teaching

Helen teaches across the undergraduate Criminology programme, including the Murder, Investigating Crime and Policing and the Police modules and also supervises undergraduate dissertations.    Helen also contributes to the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice, contributing sessions on technology and justice, Police and Crime Commissioners and roads policing, including supervising Masters dissertations. 
 
Helen also supervises College of Policing and ESRC CASE funded PhD and Prof Doc students, currently on the subjects of police use of data in roads policing and rural crime contexts. She is happy to be approached in relation to supervision of projects in the areas of roads policing, policing and technology, procedural justice and criminal justice policy, amongst others. 

Selected Publications

  • Sharp R, Wells H, Fernández MK, Hellman S. 2020. Perceptions of compliance and enforcement on the Strategic Road Network: Focus groups and interviews. doi> link> full text>
  • Millie A and Wells H. 2019. Introduction: Contemporary policing and non-warranted volunteering. POLICING & SOCIETY, 371-375, vol. 29(4). link> doi>
  • Millie A and Wells H. 2019. Introduction: Contemporary policing and non-warranted volunteering. POLICING & SOCIETY, 371-375, vol. 29(4). link> doi>
  • Wells H and Millings M. 2019. Scrutinising the appeal of volunteer Community Speedwatch to policing leaders in England and Wales: Resources, responsivity and responsibilisation. POLICING & SOCIETY, 376-391, vol. 29(4). link> doi> full text>
  • Wells HM and Savigar L. 2017. Keeping up, and keeping on: Risk, acceleration and the law-abiding driving offender. Criminology and Criminal Justice. doi> link> full text>

Full Publications Listshow

Books

  • Wells HM. 2012. The Fast and the Furious: Drivers, speed cameras and control in a risk society. (1st ed.). Surrey: Ashgate. link>

Journal Articles

  • Wells H, Savigar-Shaw L, Briggs G. 2021. The inconvenient truth about mobile phone distraction: understanding the means, motive, and opportunity for driver resistance to legal and safety messages. The British Journal of Criminology: an international review of crime and society, 1-18. doi> link> full text>
  • Millie A and Wells H. 2019. Introduction: Contemporary policing and non-warranted volunteering. POLICING & SOCIETY, 371-375, vol. 29(4). link> doi>
  • Millie A and Wells H. 2019. Introduction: Contemporary policing and non-warranted volunteering. POLICING & SOCIETY, 371-375, vol. 29(4). link> doi>
  • Wells H and Millings M. 2019. Scrutinising the appeal of volunteer Community Speedwatch to policing leaders in England and Wales: Resources, responsivity and responsibilisation. POLICING & SOCIETY, 376-391, vol. 29(4). link> doi> full text>
  • Wells HM and Savigar L. 2017. Keeping up, and keeping on: Risk, acceleration and the law-abiding driving offender. Criminology and Criminal Justice. doi> link> full text>
  • Wells H. 2018. THE ANGERED VERSUS THE ENDANGERED: PCCS, ROADS POLICING AND THE CHALLENGES OF ASSESSING AND REPRESENTING 'PUBLIC OPINION'. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, 95-113, vol. 58(1). link> doi> full text>
  • Wells HM. 2015. Grey areas and fine lines: Negotiating Operational Independence in the Era of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Safer Communities, 193-202, vol. 14(4). doi> full text>
  • Wells H. 2015. Getting Around and Getting On: Self-Interested Resistance to Technology in Law Enforcement Contexts. ANNUAL REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE, VOL 11, 175-192, vol. 11. link> doi> full text>
  • Wells H. 2016. PCCs, Roads Policing and the Dilemmas of Increased Democratic Accountability. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, 274-292, vol. 56(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Wells HM and Haines A. Persecution or protection? Understanding the differential public response to two road-based surveillance systems. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells HM and Barnard-Wills D. Surveillance, technology and the everyday. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells HM and Barnard-Wills D. Surveillance, technology and the everyday. Criminology and Criminal Justice, vol. 12(3). doi> link>
  • Wells H. 2011. Risk and expertise in the speed limit enforcement debate: Challenges, adaptations and responses. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 225-241, vol. 11(3). link> doi>
  • WELLS HM and Wills D. 2009. Individualism and Identity: Resistance to Speed Cameras in the UK. Surveillance and Society, vol. 6(3). doi> link>
  • Wells H. 2008. The Techno-Fix versus the Fair Cop: Procedural (in)justice and automated speed limit enforcement. British Journal of Criminology, 798-817, vol. 48(6). doi>
  • WELLS H. 2007. Risk, Respectability and Responsibilisation: Unintended driver responses to speed limit enforcement. Internet Journal of Criminology.
  • Wells H. 2004. Is there a place for covert research methods in criminology? A different approach. Graduate Journal of Social Science, vol. 1(1).
  • Wells HM. FORTHCOMING: 'Keeping up, and keeping on: Roads policing, risk and the law-abiding driving offender'.

Chapters

  • Wells H, Kocken P, Vlasblom E, de Lijster G, van Kesteren N, van Zoonen R, Zdunek K, reijneveld S, Blair M, Alexander D. Chapter 16: The Transferability of Primary Child Health Care Systems. In Issues and Opportunities in Primary Health Care for Children in Europe: The Final Summarised Results of the Models of Child Health Appraised (MOCHA) Project. Emerald Publishing Limited. doi>

Other

  • Sharp R, Wells H, Fernández MK, Hellman S. 2020. Perceptions of compliance and enforcement on the Strategic Road Network: Focus groups and interviews. doi> link> full text>
  • Wells HM, Cropper S, Turner J. 2011. Total Place and Alcohol Harm Reduction: Report on Service Recommendations for the Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Safety Partnership.
  • WELLS H and Simkins L. 2010. A Process Evaluation of the Staffordshire Young Driver Coaching Programme Resource Pack. link>
  • WELLS HM. 2004. Speed Cameras. Parliamentary Office of Science and TechnologyPOSTnote 218.
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